In Absentia Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of In Absentia, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is In Absentia?

The latin word meaning” in absence of” . It refers to a term used in court to declare something in absence of , usually the defendant or accused, who may have escaped or not attended the trial of the court during its progress.

History and Meaning of In Absentia

In Absentia is a legal term that has its roots in Latin, which means "in the absence of." It is commonly used to describe court proceedings that take place in the absence of one of the parties involved. In the legal sense, In Absentia means a legal proceeding where the defendant is not present, but the case is still proceeding.

The term has been used for centuries in courts around the world. It's a legal principle that recognizes that a court can proceed with a case even if the defendant, their legal representation, or a witness is not present. The judge, jurors, and appropriate legal counsel usually proceed with the case as though everyone is present.

Examples of In Absentia

  • After being arrested and spending five years behind bars, the accused chose to flee the country. In Absentia, the court proceeded with the hearing and found the defendant guilty.
  • In a custody dispute, if one party fails to appear at a court-ordered hearing, a judge may make a decision In Absentia.
  • In many jurisdictions, some traffic violations are tried In Absentia. If the defendant fails to respond or show up to respond, the case proceeds without them.
  • A tribunal awarded a $2 million settlement against a corporation, which failed to appear and participate in the proceedings.

Legal Terms Similar to In Absentia

  • Default judgment: This is a court decision that's made against a defendant who fails to respond or appear in court.
  • Ex parte: It's a legal proceeding conducted with the participation of only one party. This means the other party is not present in the court proceeding.
  • Contempt of Court: This offense is committed when someone disobeys, violates, or disrespects a court's order. It can occur willfully or without any intention.
  • Due process: It's the principle that everyone is entitled to a fair hearing or trial before any legal action is taken against them.